After a big surge in COVID-19 cases in January 2021, followed by more severe lockdowns, the rate of infection has slowed, but is very difficult to contain due to very limited testing, personal protective equipment and vaccines. Vaccination has only recently begun and is very limited in its reach, and may take two years or more to complete. Due to the pandemic over 174,000 migrant workers have returned, mainly from South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Europe. Hence remittance income into the country is down.
When schools returned in mid-September, most teachers did not, shifting the focus of industrial strife from the health to the education sector. It underlines the galloping inflation impacting the wages of public servants and other workers, and the huge pressures for change in Zimbabwean society. However, the political opposition continues to disintegrate due to factional conflicts and, in the case of Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance, its connections to the Mugabe G40 faction of ZANU-PF and its use of violence.
The Zimbabwe Nurses Union has called for a return to work after months of strikes over pay and workplace safety, after the appointment of Vice-President Chiwenga as Health Minister. Civil servants have been promised a pay adjustment every three months. However, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions called for wages to be paid in US dollars and for lightening workplace lunchtime protests on September 1. Teacher unions are also determined to gain pay in US dollars.
Today is the second anniversary of the 2018 national election won by President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF, and the day set for the Extraordinary Congress of MDC-T. It was chosen therefore for a big street protest, purportedly against corruption.
Each of 120 families were provided: